Eastbourne College, which has one of the largest school cadet forces in the country, was honoured to take part in the march to the Cenotaph on Armistice Day.
Tom Lawson, the school’s headmaster, said, “To pay our respects at the Cenotaph was a huge honour and we are proud that our pupils were given the responsibility, especially in this centenary year.”
He said the cadets ‘performed admirably’ on the day, marching down Whitehall, laying a wreath at the Cenotaph and saluting HRH Princess Anne at Horse Guard’s Parade.
Back in Eastbourne, the school held their own Remembrance service and Combined Cadet Force Parade, which took place in front of the memorial building.
An address, delivered by Colonel Anthony Lamb MBE DL, focused on the less tangible effects of the colossal human sacrifice. Attention was brought to the loss felt by the families of those that did not return home, the local communities, and the ripple effect on British society as each community, and the country, began to rebuild.
The College then welcomed former Chairman of Governors, Admiral Sir Ian Forbes and Captain (retired) Andrew Jelinek, both ex-pupils and ex-servicemen, who laid wreaths which will be placed beneath stone tablets that bear the names of the 174 boys and one teacher that gave their lives in the Great War. After the service, 174 cadets each placed a small wooden cross in front of the Memorial Arch around a ‘Tommy’ silhouette.
Following the Act of Remembrance, the College unveiled a memorial to Old Eastbournian Lionel Rees VC, who earned his VC as a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps in WW1 and after whom the new dining hall has been named.